There's no reason to shop at a big box store when Fort Wayne has plenty of locally owned treasures. From olive oil to stationary, these local retailers know how to create memorable and one-of-a kind items. Here's an overview of a few of my favorite locally owned destinations:
  • Poptique Popcorn: If gourmet popcorn is your thing, then this place will hit the spot. A variety of flavors and sizes are available. You can find their shop in Jefferson Pointe.
  • Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium: Two sisters have curated clever and considerate items to sell in their gift shop. You can find everything from candles to cookies----many of which are made by local artists. You can find them on Illinois Road, next to 800 Degrees Three Fires.
  • The Olive Twist: This place is a dream come true for foodies.  Pick from their impressive selection of gourmet olive oils and vinegers. The friendly staff will help you find something to suit your taste. You can even sample the oil before purchasing. They offer several sizes of bottles sure to fit into any budget. Visit them in Covington Plaza, on Fort Wayne's southwest side.
  • Creative Women of the World: When you make a purchase here, it has a ripple effect. Why? Because this store features the work of artisan-women in developing countries. You can find items here from places like Guatemala, India and Haiti. No doubt you'll find something truly original here! You can find their shop on Wayne Street downtown, next to JK O'Donnell's. Market Girl
  • Hedgehog Press: Artist/shop owner Julie Wall Toles makes it easy to gift with personality.  Think hand-crafted stationary, coasters and jewelry. She also offers workshops if you feel so inspired. Visit her shop at 1126 Columbia Ave., near Lakeside Park.
There's no excuse for buying a boring, mass produced item when there are so many original options. Show your friend or family member you care enough to find something one-of-a-kind. Then be ready to experience the warm and fuzzies as they open up such a treasure.